Multi-Pattern Tournaments

EVERY TOURNAMENT HAS MULTIPLE PATTERNS, that is, if you look at the event from lane-to-lane. But that’s not the purpose of this piece. We’re here to help ready you for any tournament or series of tournaments that includes more than one type of lane condition. 

With the advancements in lane machine technology, more tournaments and bowling centers have the availability to offer short, medium and long patterns with a variety of distances, shapes and volumes. The World Series of Bowling, World Men’s Championships, Teen Masters and even your local city and state tournaments (if contested in multiple bowling centers) all have multiple-pattern formats, and it takes more than one ball and style to be successful.


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Which bowling style are you? Take a peek at our Bowling Styles article.


While we can’t list every possible combination of bowling ball, bowler style and lane condition, we can list characteristics for each that you’ll want to use to evaluate your physical abilities, arsenal and ability to evaluate conditions.

Starting with physical abilities, we can categorize several “tools” competitive bowlers should have. While these 14 tools can be effective, there are many more nuances that will work in specific situations.

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Next is equipment. Bowling balls, shoes and accessories will offer a wide variety of options to be successful. Keeping your equipment in good working order can mean the difference in making the cut or going home early.

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Last piece of the puzzle is lane conditions. Not just the oil that’s put on the lane, but the lane surface plays a big part in how versatile bowlers need to be. 

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While these 40 categories can seem overwhelming, by no means, are these the only variables. In fact, this merely scratches the surface. Once you've identified a few starting points, such as surface, pattern length and volume, the rest of the lane play puzzle gets easier.

Always remember to challenge yourself at being versatile because the game of bowling is constantly changing. Adding tools to your arsenal is one thing, but keeping them sharp and ready to use in any situation separates the best from the rest.